G&AR Acquires Three More Small Roads (UPDATED May 16)Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Camp Chase Railroad, Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad and Vermilion Valley Railroad on May 12 were added to Gulf & Atlantic Railways’ (G&AR) short line railroad portfolio.
Jacksonville, Fla.-based G&AR on March 27 reported signing an agreement to acquire the three Midwestern railroads from Midwestern & Bluegrass Rail, which also runs the 40-mile Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad and the 55-mile Transkentucky Transportation Railroad, and on May 16 announced the closure of the sale.
Camp Chase Railroad, which operates 15 miles in the Columbus, Ohio area, interchanges with Norfolk Southern (NS) and CSX, and offers rail-truck transload and industrial development opportunities. Chesapeake & Indiana Railroad runs 28 miles of track in northwest Indiana. It provides daily switching service, linking with NS and CSX, and regularly handles unit grain trains and offers transloading at La Crosse, Ind. Vermilion Valley Railroad connects with CSX in Danville, Ill., extending 10 miles from the Illinois-Indiana state line to Olin, Ind. It also handles logistics projects involving the rail-truck transload of dimensional loads and other products, and operates a full-service locomotive shop, capable of performing heavy maintenance on company-owned diesels as well as units for third-party lessors.
The addition of the three short lines expands G&AR’s portfolio to five small roads. It already operates the 430-mile Florida, Gulf & Atlantic Railroad and the 228-mile Grenada Railroad, which received Honorable Mention in Railway Age’s 2021 Short Line and Regional Railroad Awards program.
“We look forward to continuing the safe, customer-focused operations of these railroads, which we believe are complementary to our existing business,” G&AR CEO Ryan Ratledge said in March. “The high-quality leadership at Midwest & Bluegrass has done a tremendous job of enhancing these lines and preparing them for growth.”
Ratedge, in May, added: “Safety remains our number one priority—both for our employees and the communities in which we operate. We are fortunate to have gained a solid group of professional railroaders through this acquisition and we welcome them to our Gulf & Atlantic team.”
In a related development, G&AR in early March appointed Kristin Bevil as General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer.